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The fastest star ever discovered spinning by spinning the supermassive black hole of the Milky Way



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Sgr A *, the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, is surrounded by a cluster of stars moving at extreme speeds.

NASA / CXC / Univ. of Wisconsin / Y.Bai, et al.

At the center of our galaxy is Sagittarius A * (Sgr A *), a humble black hole about four million times the mass of our sun. Being so large, its gravitational effects are extreme and they can be detected by looking at the stars near it. Orbits Sgr A * are a handful of stars (and some mysterious objects), locked in a two-step cosmic step with the invisible monster, moving at the speed of the melting of the mind.

And astronomers have just discovered the fastest part of the planet, recording its fastest speed around Sgr A * at 8% the speed of light.

A study, published in the Astrophysics Journal on Tuesday, examined the area around Sgr A *, looking for star sign marks. Previous research has revealed dozens of stars moving around the supermassive black hole in very unusual orbits. This population of stars is collectively known as S stars, and some of them orbit too close to the black hole, making them difficult to detect.

But the research team, using instruments installed in the Very Large Telescope of the European Observatory in Chile, cleared through images taken between 2004 and 2016, adding five new stars, S4711-S4715, to the population and tracking their movements. about Sgr A *. Their results show more evidence that a distinct population of stars orbits Sgr A * at distances comparable to the size of our solar system.

And being so close to the horrible, endless abyss in the center of the Milky Way, they are the secret of an extreme physique.

Florian Peissker, an astronomer at the University of Cologne in Germany and his team have studied the region of space near the black hole with intensity. In January, they reported observations of S62 star. Their observations, published in the journal Astrophysics, found that S62 was orbiting the black hole once every 9.9 years, giving it the shortest orbital period and making it the fastest star to blush around the hole. the Black of the Milky Way.

But new data from Peissker and colleagues have seen the S62 break both of its records.

According to The Astronomer’s Telegram, one of the newly discovered stars, S4711, orbits the Black Hole of the Milky Way once every 7.6 years, claiming the record for the shortest orbital period.

Another star, S4714, is even more extreme. It is not as close to the Sgr A * as the S4711, but is traveling through the black hole at 8% the speed of light. At that speed, the star is moving about 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) every second, which means it could make a full revolution of the Earth in just over 1.5 seconds.

The highly eccentric orbits of S stars are not merely cosmic curiosities; the stars help create further evidence for Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The theory predicts how space, time, and gravity interact, and suggests large, dense objects like black holes could wrap around them. By studying the S stars, astronomers can see some of the movements predicted by Einstein’s theory. A team from the Max Planck Institute did this recently, when they studied star S2 earlier this year and found that he strictly adhered to Einstein’s theory.

The team believes the improved data analysis could provide a further insight into the space around Sgr A * and they expect more stars in extremely narrow orbits to be discovered in the “near future”. The extremely large telescope, which is expected to become operational in 2025, will collect 13 times more light than any optical telescope in operation today and should help find some more. Until then, the S4714 finds out the crown.


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